Walking Holidays in Switzerland - Meiringen - Crossroads of Five Passes


Holiday Highlights
  • The most prominent settlement in the Haslital Valley stretching to the peaceful waters of Lake Brienz
  • Explore a rich variety of landscapes with lush pastures, dazzling cascades and tight gorges
  • Witness the impressive Reichenbach Falls and Sherlock Holmes Museum


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Meiringen is the most prominent settlement in the Haslital Valley which stretches from the Grimsel Pass to the peaceful waters of Lake Brienz at the eastern end of the Bernese Oberland. 

The valley is ideal for walking holidays exhibiting a rich variety of landscapes with lush pastures dazzling cascades tight gorges and several tributary valleys equally worthy of exploration. 

The Haslital Valley has been used as an important route for centuries as no fewer than five passes feed into the valley: the Brunig, Grimsel, Grosse Scheidegg, Susten and Joch pass. These provide easy access to the environs of the towering peaks adorned with snow fields and bright shining glaciers found in a great arc to the south. 

Amongst them stand Titlis (3290m) the Sustenhorn (3560m) and the Wetterhorn (3760m). There’s enough here to keep the enthusiastic walker content for many a day! The Haslital also offers the Aare Gorge and the impressive Open Air Folklore Museum at nearby Ballenberg.

Meiringen, a typically Swiss market town, lies on the River Aare whose white glacial waters briskly flow into Lake Brienz a few kilometres west. It is well served by banks, shops, hotels and restaurants and as its name might suggest is the birthplace of the meringue. Its people are welcoming, kind and hospitable. 

The impressive Reichenbach Falls nearby provided the scene of the fictional death of Sherlock Holmes at the hands of arch enemy Professor Moriarty. A statue of Holmes (complete with deerstalker and pipe) stands in the tree-lined square by the former English church now the Sherlock Holmes Museum. 

A special feature of Meiringen as a walking centre is the access afforded to the very extensive and varied walking opportunities both in the locality and further afield. A superb integrated network of cableways, post buses and trains can take you in all directions to reach spectacular locations quickly and easily. Meiringen is a perfect base for walks and excursions both in summer and winter.

Meiringen really has something for everyone ranging from gentle alpine meadow strolls to demanding summit ascents. There are leisurely walks through flower strewn meadows of the Hasliberg with the high peaks of the Bernese Oberland as a backdrop. 
Take a walk that includes the Rosenlaui Glacier the melting waters of which cascade down the valley in swirling torrents, cutting spectacularly through a deep gorge before reaching the renowned and spectacular Reichenbach Falls. Walk through pretty hamlets whilst enjoying views of the famous Eiger.  This walker’s paradise can be approached on foot directly from Meiringen but most walkers choose to travel part way by post bus to gain height.
Nearby lies the enchanting Engstlenalp at the foot of the Joch Pass giving access to the Marmot Trail (where you might also see wild goat and ibex) and which is the start of the ‘Paradise Way’, a magnificent contour route to Meiringen famed for its flowers and butterflies. Visit the wild Grimsel Pass giving access to the Grimsel glaciers, including the Rhône Glacier where you can explore the lateral moraines. Here you can make the relatively easy ascent of the Sidelhorn (2745m) in about 2 hours. We could go on and on and on! The potential for walking is limitless, hence many clients return year after year.

Family Holidays This is an excellent area for family walking holidays and includes, especially for the children, the two Muggestutz walks celebrating the local gnome folklore, great for both young and old!  A fascinating crystal trail can be explored on the Grimsel Pass; visit the Gelmer Funicular, the steepest in Europe, and as thrilling as many a theme park ride!  Local bike rental is easily arranged for day cycling on various terrains including the valley floor. Try an exhilarating Trotti ‘scooter’ run down the mountain from Magisalp.  Visit the open air folklore museum at Ballenberg which offers entertainment for children from 5 years upwards. Take a lake steamer trip; travel on a steam railway; try the open air swimming pool with its water slide or one of the many other sporting and recreational activities suitable for children.

Self Guided Walking Our summer self guided Walk Booklet has a total of 23 walks, many with variations, and they are being added to constantly. They range from 4-5 hours and 60m ascents to 7-8 hours and over 1000m ascents.
Our winter Walk Booklet has a selection of walks suitable for the time of year. They tend to be shorter because of walking on the snow and the shorter day.
Walk Grading Self Guided - Easy, Moderate & Challenging

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Hotel Adler ** - 2 Star

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The Hotel Adler is situated in a quiet street but is well placed for the station cable car and shops. The owner, Hans Ruedi Zumbrunn, has been welcoming New Experience guests for 19 years, and you will soon feel at home. He is a chef by profession and presides personally over the kitchen. A generous breakfast is taken in the upstairs dining room with its stunning views of the Reichenbach Falls. You may take dinner here or downstairs in the carbon grill, when space allows, which attracts many local diners and is one of the most popular places to eat in Meiringen.

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Hotel Meiringen - 3 Star

Hotel Victoria - 3 Star

Hotel Alpbach - 4 Star

Availability Information

Walking in Meiringen is available most of the year. However it is not recommended from the end of October to the middle of December as this is when fresh snow is common closing the winter paths. All the high paths are generally open from July to the end of September. We offer guided walking in early summer when the flowers are most abundant and also at Christmas, New Year and February for Winter Walking. We have separate Walk Booklets for winter and summer for our self guided guests.



When to book your walking holiday in Switzerland - Meiringen - Crossroads of Five Passes

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